Choosing the Best Pediatrician

Choose the Finest Pediatrician for You and Your Child

Forget being up all night with a screaming baby; one of the hardest parts of parenting is finding a pediatrician that is ideal for both the parent and the child. Luckily, finding that pediatrician can be done in three easy steps.

What's your parenting style?

To begin with, consider what is most important for you and your child before beginning the search. What's your parenting style? Are you comfortable with breastfeeding for years or a fan of formula? Does the thought of genetically modified ingredients in your child's food send you into a tailspin? These questions might not seem like they have anything to do with the process of finding a doctor, but a vegan parent is much more likely to be comfortable with a doctor who is a fan of both Eastern and Western approaches than someone who thinks all is made well with a shot and a lollypop.

So, consider your individual philosophies first and find out what you don't want. Then, think of what you do want.

Ask friends, family, and strangers who they use. Ask your ob-gyn; after all, many times mothers who were comfortable with the practices implemented by their ob-gyns will trust the judgment used by the doctors, nurses, and staff of that office.

Once parents get a list together, interview the doctors. This may or may not be covered by insurance, so check into the cost before committing yourself to tons of interviews. Don't be afraid to let a doctor know what is on your mind. After all, handing a child over – even to a doctor – is difficult, so make sure your child is going into trusted hands.

Ask questions. It doesn't matter how simple the questions may seem. Concerns about vaccinations, medications, treatment options, wellness checks, and availability are all important. Keep in mind that a pediatrician will see your child from infancy until he or she goes off to college, so make sure there is a connection between you and the doctor and the doctor and your child.

Lastly, look up physician reviews online. There is nothing like the opinions and experiences of other parents to help make an informed decision.

Oh, the places you will go.

Another important factor in choosing a pediatrician is location. Some parents are okay with driving longer distances than others if it means better care. Other parents do not have the luxury of time and need someone that can be visited within a 10-15 minute drive.
Also, ask if the doctor stays in one office or travels between an office and hospital (or other offices). Traveling doctors make getting a local appointment slightly more difficult, which is not ideal for parents pressed for time.

All kids are special, but their needs are different.

It's not always possible to know if your child has special needs. Issues present at birth will require immediate care and are generally be dealt with by the doctors at the hospital. However, referrals can be made for continuous care and all of the same questions parents have for an otherwise healthy child are still valid when choosing a specialist.
However, should your child develop common problems such as asthma or diabetes, make sure you trust your pediatrician enough to provide suitable care (or make a stellar recommendation) should your child develop a chronic illness in the future.

Choosy moms choose the greatest doctors.

Seeing as a pediatrician literally holds the life of your child in his or her hands, don't be afraid to pick one that you trust.